Vodafone extends eligibility for cheap social tariff
The mobile network has expanded the number of people who can sign up for the Voxi For Now tariff which offers unlimited 5G data, calls and texts for £10 a month.
Voxi, which is part of Vodafone, first offered the cheap tariff in 2020 to help people who lost their job during the pandemic. When it launched, the plan was available to anyone claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or employment-based Universal Credit.
Vodafone has now extended eligibility for the tariff to people claiming Disability Allowance and Personal Independent Payment to help these people with their finances during the cost of living crisis.
The plan would usually cost £35 a month so at £10 a month, the social tariff is about 70% cheaper.
A third-party, Moneyhub, will check anyone applying for the tariff is eligible. It will do this using an automated FCA-regulated eligibility checking process. To sign up applicants must confirm their benefits are paid into a UK bank account, select their bank from a pre-populated list, and consent by agreeing that Moneyhub will check eligibility through Open Banking, to verify they receive a relevant benefit.
Max Taylor, consumer director at Vodafone UK, said: “By enhancing VOXI for Now and extending it to anyone experiencing financial hardship, we hope to keep as many people as possible connected, both to family and friends, as well as to vital online services.
“If you can’t afford your current plan, or you know someone who is struggling, we can help.”
Catherine Hiley, telecoms expert at Uswitch, said: “The cost-of-living crisis has made it harder than ever for those financially struggling to stay connected to their mobile service. Without this, they risk losing contact with vital support networks and, for jobseekers, being deprived of an important tool that can help them find work.
“Social tariffs are an important way for vulnerable consumers to get a decent service at a lower cost but there is still a lack of awareness that they exist.
“Hopefully today’s announcement by Vodafone, for an unlimited data SIM-only deal on its Voxi network, will help spread the word and also encourage more providers to follow suit in offering these tariffs.
“If you’re claiming one or more government benefits, you could also be entitled to switch to a social broadband tariff, which could reduce your telecom bills by hundreds of pounds a year on average.”